World champion boxer-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao said he believed he didn't have it in him to become a politician, but the public service part of the job made him stick around.
Pacquiao revealed this in an interview recently on "Nas Talks", a spinoff of the hugely popular "Nas Daily."
"I've been into politics for one decade . . . I regret entering politics," the 8-division world-title holder and lawmaker said in his interview on Nuseir Yassin's Spotify podcast.
"But I'm here to help the people in need. Because I've been there. I slept in the streets, without food . . . We didn't have food to eat, just water to survive."
The interview was posted on Spotify on November 25, more than a week before he was appointed president of the ruling PDP-Laban Party.
"From the beginning, I don't like politics. Because of the system of politics, there's a lot of corrupt politicians. Not saying all of them but most of them," he said.
When asked if some of his colleagues might be irked by his statements, Pacquiao added: "Not all of them [are corrupt]. If they are affected by my words, then they are guilty of corruption."
He said he started boxing as a kid from the province out of necessity and that he only fought for the prize to be used buy food for his family.
"In the beginning, I don't know boxing. I just go there, they put gloves in my hands and [I] fight for the prize so I could afford to buy food," he said, adding that growing up poor motivated him to enter politics.
"From the beginning I don't like politics. Because of the system of politics, there's a lot of corrupt politicians. Not saying all of them but most of them," he said.
"I wanted to quit politics, but I thinking about the Filipino people... the needy. I can feel their agony, their needs in life especially in this pandemic time."
Pacquiao said that for the country to prosper it must have selfless leaders.
"What we really need is a true leader who has concern and love for the country, who unite people... willing to give up everything to help the country and people," he said.